Belgian Presidency Outlines Agriculture Work Programme

The first few days of the Belgian Presidency are now underway and priorities for its six month tenure have now been set out amidst speculation over the country’s current caretaker government. The work programme for Agriculture and the CAP, which runs until the end of December, was presented at yesterday’s meeting of the Special Committee on Agriculture.

Priorities for the Presidency with regards to the CAP were outlined together with items under the headings of phytosanitary, veterinary and food safety issues which include among other things a review of recent work done by the Council on genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). Points earmarked for the attention of the Presidency relating to the CAP include of course a continuation of the consultation process on the future of the policy post-2013, initiated under the Spanish Presidency, as well as further work on simplification, an issue highlighted as a key priority for future reform by Member States at the most recent Agriculture Council. Other key areas of work were identified as:

  • Reaching conclusions for the Council on the Commission’s communication on the CAP post-2013, expected by the end of the year;
  • Dealing with the recommendations from the report produced by the High Level Group on Dairy. This is to be examined by the Council, together with the Commission’s interim report on changes within the milk market and management of milk quotas until 2015;
  • Initiating a debate on European policy regarding the quality of agricultural produce which is now under review. Legislative proposals from the Commission are expected by the end of the year.

The full programme of the Belgium Presidency can be found here.

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